Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another Letter the Std-Ex Refused to Print

Contrary to what the Mayor says, Stuart has been an extremely incompetent asset to Ogden

Matt & Stuey Histerical Archives
From: Tom Owens

To: Don Porter
editorial page editor

I am writing in response to the Sunday op-ed piece written by Mayor Godfrey wherein he defends the indefensible giving of forty some thousand tax payer dollars to his failed economic director Stuart Read as a going away present, and his subsequent re-hiring of him at big dollars to "manage" the already privately and competently managed business depot.

Stuart, after being rejected by the Salt Lake City voters, came to Ogden with the great promise of turning our city around economically. He had been turned away, in his ill fated attempt to become mayor, by the capital city voters in favor of Ogden's own Rocky Anderson. This after his controversial tenure as the Salt Lake economic director. Had he actually been successful in SLC he most likely would have become mayor there or found his way up the development career latter to a larger city with expanded duties and pay. That not being the case, he landed here on our door step as the proverbial big fish in the little pond.

The Mayor's implications that Reid was somehow responsible for Salt Lake's light rail, American Stores and Gateway is really quite laughable. Sam Skaggs, Utah's legendary grocery and drug store giant, was the force behind the American Stores building. Gateway was the product of the Boyer company and DeDee Corridini, and the light rail was a long term undertaking spearheaded by several generations of Salt Lake mayors and UTA chiefs. Stuart Reid had very little to do with any of them other than being around when they finally came to fruition. Seems like the Mayor never lets the truth get in the way of his fanciful stories.

The Mayor would also have us believe that Stuart was turning down big paying jobs so he could come to Ogden for far less money because he could see all the potential here. This is very illogical in the real business world as the position he took here was a government job that did not involve him participating in any potential profits. So even if he did have any success here, which of course he didn't, how could he have any potential of making up the difference of what he allegedly was supposed to make in the private sector? If Reid actually had any big paying offers why didn't the Mayor give us any specifics as to who made those offers and how much they were for?

If Stuart's original agreement with Ogden really did contain a provision for a generous severance package why was it a verbal side deal and not part of his written contract? Why was the city council not informed or involved with this so called "verbal deal"? How many of the other highly paid members of the Mayor's "brain trust" have these verbal side deals to waltz out the door with tens of thousands of public dollars? The Mayor seems to be saying that "there are others with the same package".

The Mayor says that "There is a price that has to be paid if we are going to get the best. We could choose to hire the second rate people for less money and we can expect that kind of performance" I submit that the citizens of Ogden have indeed paid the price for the best but in fact got second rate performance as evidenced by the sorry string of losing projects that he and Stuart have been responsible for. Examples include but are not limited to: The 25th street condo fiasco that Ogden citizens most likely will lose two million dollars on, The American Can fiasco that has cost tax payers eight million dollars so far with not a dollar of profit in sight, The immoral attempted land grab to benefit Wal-Mart which failed, The two condo developments that have done nothing but lose money, and of course the notorious Mall scheme that has gone on for many years and twenty plus millions with no end in sight and nothing to show for it but a toxic mud hole in the middle of town. There are many more examples, but the bottom line is that the Mayor and Stuart, in their incompetence, have failed at most every thing they have touched, and have driven the city of Ogden to the brink of financial ruin.

Mayor Godfrey goes on to compare his failed team to the private sector in his attempt at justifying his gifting of forty some thousand Ogden tax payer dollars to Reid. I don't think there is any real comparison here. If this team was in the private sector they all would have been fired three or four years ago for incompetence. Private enterprise requires profitable results. This group cannot point to one single profitable project that they have been the authors of.

Contrary to what the Mayor says, Stuart has been an extremely incompetent asset to Ogden. Under their leadership we have deteriorated and languished and the city is near bankrupt with all of the unfinished and failed projects. Meanwhile the infrastructure is falling apart under our feet; the fire fighters are under-staffed, under-equipped and under-paid; the police are under-appreciated, under-paid and over-worked; and the maintenance department doesn't have the money to keep the pigeon droppings off the streets and the shoes of the tourists.

If the Mayor was really telling us the truth he would give us specifics, not general platitudes. He would tell us what each of these projects cost and how much money they are making. He would show us a real balance sheet and P&L on each project. He would tell us just exactly what project of Stuart's made the phantom three point two million dollars. Instead he gives us a bunch of mumbo jumbo ending with the biggest joke of all:

"I hope this community will realize how fortunate we have been to have Stuart Reid working for Ogden. He earned every penny we paid him many times over, but as importantly as remuneration, we owe him our appreciation for his competent, dedicated service and amazing results".

With lines like that I think these guys could make it on TV as a comedy actS.


Editor's note: This is just another instance, in a long line of instances, where the Standard-Examiner editors have started off the discussion of an issue, and then abruptly shut discussion off, once they've given their preferred editorial position "the last word."

Mr. Owens made numerous attempts to persuade Ogden city government house propagandist, Don Porter, to publish a legitimate retort. I've seen all the emails. Don Porter is one stubborn neoCON b****d.

The Standard-Examiner editors are a disgrace to journalism, in my not so humble opinion. They're barely fit to publish a monthly church newsletter, I think. Turn in your journalist cards, Don Porter, Ron Thornburg and Andy Howell, before your fellow journalists bring out the tar and feathers.

I'm not going to lay blame on the Suits from Sanduskey this time, either. I seriously doubt they care a whit about who fills the Ogden council seats for the upcoming council sessions. All they want to do is book advertizing and sell newspapers.

Well, it's the Std-Ex editors who shut off the debate. It's they who will have to account to the Sandusky Suits, when they try to mealy-mouth and explain their shutting-down of the debate, for the sake of "protecting" our present extremist government.

As always, Weber County Forum will remain an open conduit for ALL THE INFORMATION THAT'S FIT TO PRINT, though, without regard to the question of where the chips may fall.

GOOD STUFF, TOM OWENS! I'm hoping other outraged citizens will similarly speak up!

Reader-submitted articles are welcome here as always. Submit yours via my contact address. You too can become a published writer, with a returning readership numbering in the thousands, and running coast-to-coast.

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Unlike Don Porter, all my readers can read and write and actually think for themselves.

Email this, and any other articles you like to ALL your email friends.

It's time to take our wonderful city back.


Dorothy Littrell said...

I consider having a letter refused for publication by Don Porter to be the ultimate compliment.
It means you got too close to the truth, Tom.

googleboy said...

Thanks, Rudi. When it comes to telling the truth, you're the only game in town.

Keep on posting, dude! We love ya!

And thanks to you, Mr. Owens!

ozboy said...

I would like to buy this Owens guy for what he's worth and sell him for what he thinks he's worth. Then maybe I could be a know it all bastard too.

Bonnie Lee said...

Rudi - the picture is perfect! It actually looks like Gopfrey and Reid!! Maybe Owens is on to something about them going on TV as a comedy act.

Glenna said...

What is the real story on the American Can building and parking lot that Owens referred to?

How about it Dian, can you enlighten us on the details of that one? I was under the impression that the project might actually be working on some minor level. Does the building or parking generate income and if so how much? Is it paying back anything to the city?

Does any one on this site have any factual information on any of the numerous projects that the Mayor and Reid have undertaken? Things like true numbers and profitability? Seems like the city has been woefully short on putting out meaningfull info on how any of these projects have been performing.

I do want to believe in our city's leaders, but they sure do make it difficult sometimes.

Moroni McConkie said...

I've just searched in vain for an interview with Elder Godfrey I read some years ago, in which he recalled his father teaching him the concept of honor and admonishing him, yea verily, to honor his good name.

The mayor's unholy alliance with Bishop Reid and their secret "severance package" certainly strain the usual definition of honor. But it's a rare bird who can remain uncorrupted by politics.

Actually, pardon the priggishness. There can't be politics without corruption, and I don't expect it. Say what you will about Mayor Harman Peery's Ogden, back in the era of staged police raids on clip joints and cathouses; it certainly made government work and was well-known as such. If "Harm" were running Ogden, our downtown would've been rebuilt long ago. All the current mayoralty can do is hide behind the Articles of Faith and Word of Wisdom whenever it is criticized.

Dian said...

Glenna, it is my understanding, though possibly an unfounded one, that even the Ogden City Council has trouble getting that kind of information.

Insofar as the American Can/DaVinci project is concerned, this might give some insight:

The city bought the American Can structures with $1 million the Legislature appropriated several years ago.
   The buildings will be owned and developed by a partnership called American Can Development LLC, which is composed of Waddoups Construction, Farr Ice Cream Co. and a nonprofit, Riverside.
   Half of the lease revenue from the businesses that locate there will go to Riverside, which is to put the money into DaVinci school and into scholarships.

New home for DaVinci Academy must wait, By Kristen Moulton
The Salt Lake Tribune, Last Updated 1/1/2005

Anonymous said...


I don't know if this is the article you have in mind, but it's something similar:
Plain-truth marketing in politics, car repairs-

If the name Jason Godfrey sounds familiar, it may be due to the fact that he was hired by John Patterson (former Salt Lake County Public Works director- now Ogden's Chief Administrative Officer) to serve as his assistant public works director in Salt Lake County. See:,1249,600155031,00.html
as well as

politico observor said...

Is neopotism at work here? Isn't Jason Godfrey Mathews little brother? Is that one of the reasons that John Patterson has slipped back onto the City's payroll. Seems the Patterson/Godfrey hiring cliques is fast at work, whatever the cost to the citizens.

p.s. is this word verification really necessary and are we stuck with it forever?

Anonymous said...


I don't know if this is the article you have in mind, but it's something similar: Plain-truth marketing in politics, car repairs.

If the name Jason Godfrey sounds familiar, it may be due to the fact that he was hired by John Patterson (former Salt Lake County Public Works director- now Ogden's Chief Administrative Officer) to serve as his assistant public works director in Salt Lake County. See: Public works boss leaves Salt Lake post.

as well as Public works boss picks pal for No. 2.

Anonymous said...

The best article so far detailing the many RDA projects was on Jaunaury 23, 2005, in the Standard Examiner. "Owing Too Much?"
Listed American Can Building renovation and parking garage as $8.3 million in tax increment loans.

Moroni McConkie said...

Useful corruption gets roads, sewer lines, and dams built, and ensures that buses and snowplows run.

The Godfrey-Reid "severance" package doesn't even rise to that level. It's merely venal.

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